Paul Nehlen Is Back, This Time Challenging Ryan In The Speaker’s Race

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Juliegrace Brufke Capitol Hill Reporter
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Businessman Paul Nehlen’s substantial loss in his GOP primary race against House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin isn’t stopping him from challenging the third most powerful man in the country again: this time in the speaker’s race.

Nehlen announced Wednesday he is seeking the position, alleging Ryan has not been loyal enough to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump to continue on as speaker.

“Real America knows that D.C. lives in a bubble, and that the power players inside the beltway are concerned with their own fortunes rather than with the plight of the American worker and the middle class,” he said in a statement. “Speaker Paul Ryan — a man who bends over backward to deliver President Obama’s agenda — is the physical embodiment of Washington’s disregard for the American people.”

The Constitution does not require the speaker to be a member of Congress, allowing him to seek the role despite Ryan having won by 84 percent to his 16 percent in August. A number of conservatives have advocated for pushing back leadership elections until next year, with some citing the Ryan’s decision to focus on down-ballot races as their reasoning.

“It’s going to be nationalized,” he told CNN, adding he would encourage members of the House Freedom Caucus to pull their support for Ryan.

Despite ultimately deciding to endorse Ryan, Trump complimented Nehlen, who was vocal about his support for the nominee’s policies and rhetoric, on a number of occasions, saying he ran a good campaign.

“Paul Ryan is a man who is openly working to undermine Donald Trump’s effort to regain the White House for Republicans,” Nehlen continued. “The people are right to ask him whose team he’s on.”

While Ryan said he will not campaign with Trump, he has not retracted his endorsement of the billionaire.

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